Gerhardt Michael Hoff

gerhardt hoff

June 12, 1930 ~ April 22, 2020

Born in: Vienna, Austria
Resided in: Sandy Springs, GA

Gerhardt Michael Hoff, known as Jerry, passed away on April 22, 2020 just two months short of his 90th birthday from complications of Covid-19.

Jerry was born in Vienna, Austria on June 12, 1930. As a young boy growing up in Vienna during World War II, he taught himself English by secretly listening to the Voice of America and the BBC’s wartime radio broadcasts. His love for all things American was channeled into American jurisprudence when, after high school graduation, he joined the US Military Court for Bavaria, as assistant to the chief justice (1947-51). The US judge sponsored his visa application to the United States, and on August 9, 1951 he arrived at Ellis Island on the Il de France. He continued his education at New York University, graduating in 1958 with a Bachelor of Laws. While preparing for law school, he became a US citizen in 1955 and served in the US Army from 1955 – 1957. Between 1958 and 1972, he worked in various capacities for insurance companies –Mass Mutual, Valic, ITT – in the Northeast. In 1972 he became President and CEO of Sun Life Insurance Company of America. In 1982 Jerry earned a Masters of Laws in Taxation from Emory University. From 1983 onward, he worked independently as lawyer and consultant specializing in business planning for insurance companies and other corporations.

His ability to work with all kinds of people and to show everyone respect helped him to rise through the ranks. Whether working as an executive in Mullins, South Carolina or in New York City, he believed strongly in engaging others through conversation and asking questions. This ability served him well in his work as a public defender for the Fulton County courts in the 1990s.

Jerry had a rebel streak in him that his family and loved ones knew well. He was an independent thinker, who loved a good debate. Through the war years, he developed a near obsession with keeping up with the news that never left him. From consuming The New York Times, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal to his addiction to the 24-hour news cycles of CNN and Fox News, he would grow nervous if he could not find out what was going on in the world.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Wilhelmine Frank and Erich Theodor Klockenhoff, and his brother, Dr. Erich Klockenhoff. He is survived by Lisa Decristoforo Hoff, his wife of fifty years, and his three children, Michael (from a prior marriage), Elisabeth, Anne-Christine and five grandchildren (Alex, Nick, Sam, Max and Juliane). There will be no memorial service, due to the ongoing pandemic. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Doctors Without Borders or the Simon Wiesenthal Center (Los Angeles).

Jerry was an exacting critic of his own work and accomplishments. His family and friends hope that, in looking down on us now, he would be as happy and proud of his achievements as we are.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

Photo Gallery


  1. hesham shehab says:

    We are sorry for your loss…He lived a life worthy of a best-seller novel. What a wonderful testimony to the greatness of America was his life.

  2. Len Getz says:

    Your dad, Anne, was a special man. So sorry for your loss, your family’s loss

  3. Dora Edwards says:

    Many prayers for the Hoff family. GOD Bless you and keep you and let HIS face shine upon you and give you peace.
    Dora Edwards – East Texas

  4. Glenell Lee-Pruitt says:

    I am sending my heartfelt condolences to the Hoff family and especially to my colleague at Jarvis Christian College, Dr. Ann Hoff. Know that we are praying for you and your family continuously. May the Lord of all peace, grant you peace now and in the coming days.

    Glenell M. Lee-Pruitt
    Jarvis Christian College
    Hawkins, TX

  5. Lanier Gable says:

    To the family of Jerry Hoff – His name came to my mind recently. The old phone numbers I had for his contact was no longer working. So I decided to search for any inf. I found his obituary which I was so sorry to hear the news. I was Jerry’s Marketing V-P at Investment Life and Trust, Columbia SC. We shared 2.5 most interesting years together. While riding back and forth from Atlanta to Columbia together, we had some most interesting conversations and debates Give my sincere sympathy to Lisa as well as all the family. So sorry to hear that COVID took him away. If any member of the family would like to contact me, please feel free to do so, Lanier Gable – 770-947-8452

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Go to Top